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W.K. Kellogg Foundation names three new program officers to its international programming team serving Latin America and the Caribbean

Keith Aikens

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announces the promotion of three program officers on its international programming team:

Verόnica Fernandez de Castro, program officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, focused in Chiapas, Mexico

Alejandra Garduño, program officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, focused in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

Astrid Viveros, program officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, focused in Latin America wide programs.

All three program officers began their new roles on Sept. 16, 2013, and report to Rui Mesquita Cordeiro, director of Latin America and Caribbean programs. The team is based in the foundation’s Mexico City office. 

Each program officer will manage a grant portfolio for their assigned area, implementing program strategies to help create the conditions for children and families to thrive in their community.  

“Our experience has taught us that a knowledgeable local team is key to helping the foundation operate in full partnership with the community, where we know social change happens,” said Rui Mesquita Cordeiro. “These appointments allow us to strengthen our ability to work with community partners to continue making targeted grantmaking investments toward ensuring all children are healthy, well-educated and living in economically secure families.”

Verόnica Fernandez de Castro joined the foundation 2012 and most recently served as a program manager. Previously, she was a project coordinator at the Center of Indigenous Rights in Chilon, Chiapas. She also worked as a research assistant at the Center of Research and Higher Education in Social Anthropology in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Fernandez de Castro received her bachelor’s degree in education from the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Jalisco, diploma title in participatory community development diagnostics from the Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Chiapas and a diploma title in international cooperation for development and management tools from Instituto Mora in Mexico City. She speaks Spanish, English and Tzetal.

Alejandra Garduño joined the foundation in 2012 and had most recently worked as a program manager. She previously worked as a project manager at the Fundacion para la Productividad en el Campo A. C. and at Apoyo Intgral al Campo. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and master’s degree with an emphasis in international business, both from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She speaks Spanish and English.

Astrid Viveros joined the foundation in 2010 and most recently worked as a program manager. She previously worked as a freelance journalist, collaborating with local and regional newspapers in the Yucatán Peninsula.  She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the Universidad de las Americas Puebla in San Andres Cholula, Mexico, and in film, television and digital media from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She speaks Spanish, English and some French.

As a grantmaker, the Kellogg Foundation has been active in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1942, covering historical projects in several fields. Currently, WKKF is focused on children’s and local community development. In 2010, WKKF adopted a refreshed strategy to help build healthy, self-reliant communities where children can have better opportunities now and in the future. Micro-regions in Mexico (Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula) and Haiti (Central Area and Southwest Corridor) were designated as geographic areas of focus for these efforts. Legacy work on racial equity and social inclusion in northeastern Brazil also continues to be part of the team’s efforts.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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